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Thursday, August 18, 2005

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Myst V: End of Ages Demo Released
1:19 PM | Tuncer Deniz | 5 comments

UbiSoft has released a Mac demo of Myst V: End of Ages. Weighing in at a whopping 457 MB, the demo is available for download from our sister site,, and offers a glimpse of at the final game in the popular Myst series of games. It is interesting to note that at this point only the Mac demo is available. There's no word yet on the PC demo.

The demo is currently linked to UbiSoft's ftp site and will slow down considerably as more people try to download the demo. We are currently in the process of adding the demo to our MGF mirrors, and will make it available for IMG Pro users for exclusive download from IMG's server shortly.

Myst V is being billed as the end of the venerable adventure series and incorporates a variety of new features, including new face-mapping technology that allows for a huge variety of expressions, photo-realistic worlds, and a "slate interface" that allows gamers to interact with both the world and inhabitants of Myst.

The limited edition Mac version of Myst V: End of Ages is available for pre-order through for $59.95.

[Update #1] - The demo is now available for download for IMG Pro users. Head over to Hot Downloads to download the demo.

Myst V: End of Ages
IMG Pro: Hot Downloads
MGF: Myst V: End of Ages Demo 1.0
Buy Myst V: End of Ages

Aspyr Updates Game Agent To 1.5
9:47 AM | Tuncer Deniz | 9 comments

Aspyr has updated their popular utility, Game Agent. The free utility allows you to easily match your computer hardware with the system requirements of Aspyr’s game titles.

Here's a list of changes:

• Completely redesigned store interface that lets you easily browse all Aspyr's current games, tied together with Game Agent's ability to automatically check system requirements for each game against your Mac's configuration.
• Browse games by genre or ESRB rating
• Get latest news from Aspyr directly inside Game Agent
• Access tech support, register your games, or Aspyr project's status from Game Agent
To download Aspyr's Game Agent, head over to

Aspyr Media
MGF: Aspyr Game Agent 1.5

Freeverse Updates BumperCar
8:59 AM | Blake Buck | Comment on this story

Yesterday, Freeverse Software announced an update to its popular application, BumperCar. BumperCar is an award-winning web browser designed for kids, with a simple interface and extensive parental controls. The update brings BumperCar to version 2.0.3, and includes the following changes:

-A new menu item: "Add to Blacklist", which adds the address in the frontmost window to the blacklist (After asking for the password). The window containing that page will then close.

-The use timer now counts the entire time the browser has been running, instead of ommiting idle time.

-There is a new checkbox in the advanced prefs: "Whitelist overrides content protection", defaulting to off. If this is checked, then a site that appears on the whitelist but also contains curse words or high ratings will not be blocked. If it is not checked, then the curse filter will overrule the whitelist and block the page.

Download the most recent version of BumperCar from the Freeverse website. While not technially Mac gaming news, Freeverse is one of the larger Mac game developers. To see the announcement, or to download BumperCar, click the links below.

Freeverse Website - BumperCar 2.0.3 Announcement
Freeverse Website - BumperCar Homepage

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Battleground Europe Q&A
8:58 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Game Chronicles recently conducted an interview with Sebastien Pacetti, the International Product Manager for the upcoming Battleground Europe. The next installment for World War II Online, the game will involve thousands of players carrying out battles in what is described as a "relentless, action packed 3D environment."

Here's a sample of the interview:

One of the most amazing things about this game is that there is really something for everybody in it. If you're into FPS style games, you can play as infantry, if you’re into flight sims and you want to fly a plane, you can do that, if you want to sail the open seas, that's available as well. And all those aspects interact with each other to make for a very dynamic environment, giving the players the feeling that they are really taking part in an all out war. How many players is this single server game going to support at any given time? In other words, how many players are you expecting to be playing this game at once, upon final release?

Sebastien Pacetti :
Right now we are confident that our servers can handle 10,000 simultaneous players in the same arena, they can all interact with each others. It isn’t a hard limit because we use a Cluster technology that allow us to add more clusters to handle more players. We will run a Stress Test the 25th of August, we welcome everyone to test it with us. Feel free to check our website for more details.

Is there anything about WWII Online that you would like readers to know about that I did not cover?

Sebastien Pacetti :
Yes, Battleground Europe also includes some outstanding features like Realistic Ballistics and Damage Models. The vehicles for example don’t have a Hit point system but a real detailed damage model. Firing 30 times with a small caliber on a tank front armor won’t do anything at all. You have to know the tanks weak points to have a chance to disable it. Know you enemy if you want to survive is the key.

If you use a rifle you must know that your bullets will start dropping after 400/500meters so you need to adjust your aim according to the distance, the speed of your target and the direction, in BE you can see vehicles miles away ! and you can shoot them that far ! Unlike most other games there is no weird “fog” around you, and your shell/bullets won’t “ disappear/drop 200m away. In Battleground Europe it is more realistic and also more deadly!

For more information check out the links below. Battleground Europe is currently available for preorder for $29.95 and is scheduled for release on August 26.

Game Chronicles: Battleground Europe Q&A
Cornered Rat Software
World War II Online
World War II Online: Battleground Europe

Bill Roper at GCDC: Key Note and Interview
8:57 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Bill Roper, CEO of Flagship Studios, recently spoke at the Games Convention Developer Conference in Leipzig Germany. In his keynote address he championed the PC as a gaming platform and talked of the need for better integration of the myriad gaming devices available to consumers.

"I'm going to get on my PC soapbox for a few minutes," he told attendees. "PC games are on the verge of a major market shift, as PC developers and publishers start to move from selling CDs of single-player games to retail outlets, to selling online games to those with broadband connections. We're already seeing primitive multi-platform games on the PC... Players want to get online and play."
In addition to his keynote speech, the GCDC website has posted an interview with Roper in which he reiterated his feelings about the PC as a gaming platform. He also spoke about Flagship Studios upcoming game Hellgate: London and his time at Blizzard.
GCDC: The story seems to play an important role in Flagships first title ‘Hellgate: London’. How do you approach story-telling in order to make the player really immerse into the game? What makes a story work in a game context?
Bill Roper: Story-telling is always difficult in games because the key difference in our medium and those of books or television or film is that we are interactive. If you give players too much story without letting them be a part of it, the allure of gaming gets lost. A delicate balance has to be struck when mixing story and game play. As an industry, we have some fantastic tales to tell, but it still has to be done in the context of the fact that a game is being played, and it is the evolution of that experience that should be the driving force behind how the story is expressed.

GCDC: How does work at Flagship Studios differ from work at Blizzard?
Bill Roper: Perhaps the biggest difference is in size and focus. Blizzard has grown into a massive, worldwide company, with close to 1,000 employees spread across numerous countrie. This is obviously a testament to the success of their games over the past decade. But one of the things that falls by the wayside when any company explodes in size is the ability to maintain a single, pure focus on a title. Also,  you can honestly only have company cohesion when you are smaller. At Flagship, even though we have a well-seasoned core team and some of the best people in the industry, it is “us against the man”. We’re a tight-knit group that has something to prove, and that builds a very specific culture. While our resources are no where near as vast as when we were at Blizzard, we can be more mobile in our decision and implementation process because the entire company numbers around 30 people. I think the similarities to Blizzard – quality, ease of play, connection to community – are vital as well.

To read more about Roper's keynote speech at the GCDC head over to For the entire interview click the link below.

GamesIndustry: Bill Roper Keynote
GCDC Interview
Flagship Studios

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Apple Games Features Lego Star Wars
8:57 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The Apple Games website has posted a new feature on the upcoming Mac version of Lego Star Wars. Scheduled to ship on August 22, Lego Star Wars allows players to recreate famous moments from the recent Star Wars films in a world with vehicles and characters built from Lego bricks.

Here's a sample from the feature:

“The whole team was immersed in our shared LEGO Star Wars world,” explains Smith. “We recreated all the existing LEGO Star Wars models and used their original digital decal files for textures. We were also lucky enough to have the LEGO design team work with us to create some new vehicle models just for the game.

“LucasArts gave us regular updates on ‘Revenge of the Sith’,” he continues, “as well as expert knowledge of the ways in which various characters and locations have been created in previous Star Wars games. And, of course, we had a fabulous team at Skywalker Sound plugged directly into the complete sound archive.”

To check out the new feature and learn more about the game, follow the links below. Be sure to check out IMG's preview Lego Star Wars as well.

Apple Games: Lego Star Wars Feature
Apple Games: Lego History + Tips, Tricks, And Cheats
IMG: Lego Star Wars Preview
Aspyr Media
LEGO Star Wars
Buy LEGO Star Wars

Aspyr Newsletter: Game Requests, Stubbs, Transition To Intel
8:57 AM | Cord Kruse | 13 comments

Along with the usual list of status updates for games, Aspyr Media's recent newsletter announced the creation of a new email address specifically for game requests, gave some insight into the anticipated title Stubbs the Zombie, and talked a bit about their first steps in transitioning to OS X Intel.

If you've ever wanted a particular game ported to the Mac, but were unsure of where to send the request Aspyr just made your task easier. allows gamers to let their voices be heard.

We often receive requests from you guys about which games you would like to see brought to the Mac. We love to know what you guys think. So, a few weeks ago we created for this sole purpose. Please use this address to send in requests of games you'd like to see for Mac, or for any other game-related requests.
Those eagerly anticipating the release of Stubbs will be happy to hear Aspyr is getting "very close" to the end of the project and major in-house work has shifted to aid in its completion. Currently at first playable status, Stubbs is scheduled for release sometime this fall.

Already hard at work on preparing for the transition to an Intel powered OS X, Aspyr's programmers recently spent time with Apple engineers and were able to create OS X Intel native versions of Doom 3 and Knights of the Old Republic.

After working with the latest XCode tools and Intel Developer Transition kits, we were able to build versions of Doom 3 and Knights of the Old Republic that ran natively on OS X Intel. While there is still much work to do before any of Aspyr's games are ready for release on the new Mac Intel platform, it's a very promising start!
The newsletter also mentions several "unannounced titles" in development for Mac, PC and Windows Mobile for PocketPC.

Aspyr Media
Stubbs the Zombie
id Software
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Buy Stubbs the Zombie
Buy DOOM 3
Buy Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Mac Games News for Wednesday, August 17, 2005

IMG Reviews Logitech's Cordless Rumblepad 212:33 PM
IMG Releases Dashboard Widget 1.012:01 PM
El Ballo - Further Delays8:55 AM
GooBall Updated To 1.0.18:55 AM
Hands-on With Myst V8:55 AM
More World of Warcraft Character Transfers8:55 AM
Quake IV Preview, Q&A Posted8:55 AM
The Codebook Returns For Mac OS X8:55 AM
World of Warcraft Vault Interviews Composer Jason Hayes8:55 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, August 17, 2005 on one page

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